There are many variations of grips used for Disc Golf. Driving grips are used to grasp the disc securely to create maximum rip. Putting & approach grips have less grip strength but provide more accuracy or “touch”. The strength from driving grips comes from pressing the rim of the disc into the crease of the palm at the base of the thumb. This is different from putting & approach grips, which pinch the disc between the thumb pad and fingers.
The following grips are for primarily used for backhand drives. See the Backhand Driver Chart
for a step-by-step illustration of this throwing technique.
For all driving grips you need a strong grip as the strength of the grip determines how far you can throw. Grip the disc firmly, placing maximum pressure between the base of the thumb (not thumb pad) and forefingers. Pressing down on the flight plate with the thumb pad will help to orient the disc. This is not used as a primary pressure point when driving, as it is when throwing an upshot or putt. The Power Grip, and its many variations, is ideal for generating the grip strength needed to hold onto the disc. The disc should rip from your hand rather than be released.
Four-Finger Power Grip - Bottom View
This is the standard Four-Finger Power Grip. All finger pads are pressed against the inside wall of the rim, pulling the rim into the crease of the palm. The thumb pad is on the flight plate helping to orient the disc. The thumb pad is not used for grip, only orientation. The thumb can be put closer to the rim, or farther out on the flight plate according to thrower preference. Generally, more power is generated with the thumb out on the flight plate as opposed to next to the rim.
Stack Fork Grip - Bottom View
This is a versatile and accurate grip used by 11-Time World Champion Ken Climo. It can be used for any type of backhand shot: driving, approaching and putting. Versatility is the chief advantage of this grip. It is not as powerful as the standard power grip. The index finger is separated from the other fingers, which are stacked against each other. The pinkie is pressed against the rim. This is similar to how you would hold a fork.
Split Power/Fork Grip – Bottom View
This is probably the most widely used grip for professional disc golfers. All finger pads are pressed against the vertical wall of the rim. The index finger pad is not square against the wall, but rather more hooked underneath the rim. Most of the pressure is near the joint of the index finger pad rather than the tip. This grip provides power with some added accuracy. The thumb pad is usually out on the flight plate to guide the disc. The thumb pad can be placed closer to the rim for shorter accuracy shots.
Birdie Grip – Bottom View
This is an accuracy power grip. Three finger pads are pressed against the inside wall of the rim. The middle finger opposes the thumb pad on the flight plate. This grip is not quite as powerful as the Four-Finger Power Grip, but it gives the thrower a greater feel for the disc and provides additional accuracy.
Power Grip with Pinkie Stack – Top View
This is a variation of the power grip. The pinkie finger pad is stacked on top of the ring finger. All other finger pads are pressed against the vertical wall of the rim. Players that cannot get a comfortable position for the pinkie finger are more likely to use this grip.
Three-Finger Power/Accuracy Grip
This is a more extreme version of the Split Power Grip. The index finger pad is not on the wall of the rim, but on the lower outer edge or bevel (as shown). This grip enables a good combination of power and accuracy.
These grips are used when throwing discs Forehand/Sidearm, including air shots, overheads and rollers. See the Forehand Driver Chart
for a step-by-step introduction to the basic sidearm throw. It's important to put the pad (not the side) of your fingers flat against the inside rim wall as opposed to the flight plate. This will help generate maximum power, as it is a much stronger finger orientation. The rim of the disc should be tucked firmly into the web between thumb base and the index fist knuckle.
Sidearm Power Stack – Bottom View
This grip is used to generate maximum power when throwing sidearm/forehand. The index finger is stacked on top of the middle finger. The pad of the middle finger is flat against the vertical wall of the rim, not against the flight plate. This is the strongest grip position for the fingers, which allows more power to be put into the throw. The stronger the finger strength, the farther the disc can be thrown. Place the thumb pad toward the rim for increased power off the fingers.
Split Finger Sidearm Grip – Top View
The Split Finger Sidearm Grip is a variation of the Sidearm Power Stack that offers additional control when throwing sidearm/forehand. As in the Sidearm Power Stack grip, the middle finger is flat against the vertical wall of the rim, not against the flight plate. The index finger is split from the middle finger to allow additional control of the flight plate. The stronger the finger strength, the farther the disc can be thrown. Place the thumb pad toward the rim for increased power.
This photo shows the rim of the disc tucked firmly into the web between thumb and index fist knuckle. This position is important for all forehand grips.
Split Power Sidearm Grip - Top View
In this grip, the index finger is bent inside the pad of the middle finger. Both finger pads are pressed against the inside rim of the disc. This grip provides excellent power and a little more feel for the disc than the Power Stack Grip. Place the thumb pad toward the rim for increased power off the fingers.
Fan Grips for Putting & Approach shots
Fan Grips are primarily used for putting and approach shots. These grips provide more accuracy than power. The principal feature of the fan grip is the two middle fingers fanned out on the underside of the flight plate. The pinkie finger is usually against the rim wall. The index finger is in one of the three positions shown. The thumb position can be anywhere on the flight plate that is comfortable. The thumb position next to the rim generally has better touch and less power. The thumb position opposing the fan fingers provides more power and a good touch. The latter position is recommended.
Fan Grip - Index finger wrapped
The index finger is wrapped under the rim with the finger pad on the wall of the rim. This is the best Fan Grip for long approach shots and for providing accuracy. It is an average grip for putting. The disc has a pop/rip off the pad of the index finger and a pop off the knuckle of the middle finger.
Fan Grip – Index finger on bottom rim – Bottom View
This is the best Fan Grip for putting as it allows a delicate touch and great feel for the disc with excellent accuracy. The disc slides off the index finger and knuckle of the middle finger.
Fan Grip – Finger along rim – Bottom View
This Fan Grip helps throwers feel the angle of the disc with the index finger along the rim as shown. It is neither the best putting grip nor accuracy grip. It is a practical grip for those who need help with feel. The disc pops off the knuckle of the middle finger. No extra pop comes from the index finger.
Here are some specialty driving grips. These grips are generally used for a specific type of shot.
Grenade Grip – Bottom View
This grip is used to throw a Grenade shot, also called a Hand Grenade, Sam Grenade or Sam Wedge. The grip is similar to a Thumber grip with the thumb pad pressing against the inside wall of the rim, and the base of the thumb grabbing the bottom of the rim. The delivery is extreme hyzer backhand. This shot is similar to golf's sand wedge. The shot flies virtually straight up and straight down to clear obstacles and stick dead where it lands as it has backspin.
Bonopane Grip – Top View
The disc is held between the index and middle fingers. The index finger is placed over the thumb, which is pressed against the flight plate. The finger pads are pressed against the rim wall. The Bonopane grip will bring the nose down as the disc sits under the index finger rather than over it. This not a popular grip as it is not well suited for power and can be painful with heavy discs.
Thumber Grip – Top View
This grip is primarily used for thumb rollers. The disc is held (as shown) with the bottom of the rim in the crease of the palm. The thumb is inside the wall of the rim from the thumb pad to the base of the thumb. The disc is forced to rip off the base of the thumb first.
Hook Thumb Grip – Bottom View
This grip is primarily used for vertical (Tomahawk) shots, but can be used for sliding pancake shots, screwing skip shots and rollers. The rim of the disc is in the web between the thumb and forefinger. The pad of the thumb is hooking against the wall of the rim. The index finger is curled under the rim. The disc is forced to rip off the pad of the thumb.